beauty contest


Definition of beauty contest

1a : an assemblage of girls or women at which judges select the most beautiful

called also beauty pageant

b : a contest or competitive situation that is likened to a traditional beauty contest especially in involving judgments made on the basis of physical attractiveness or popular appeal … an elite automotive expo and beauty contest where cars of only the highest caliber …— Hannah Elliott
2 US politics : a presidential primary election in which the popular vote does not determine the number of convention delegates a candidate receives Mr. Ford and Mr. Reagan are listed in the Republican preferential primary or "beauty contest."— Charles Mohr

Examples of beauty contest in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the second year in a row, Austin outshines Dallas-Fort Worth in a long-running real estate beauty contest. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "D-FW ranks as one of the top U.S. property markets for 2021," 14 Oct. 2020 None will win a beauty contest or ever be listed on the list of best handguns ever made, but all five are dependable and fully capable of saving your life. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "5 Reliable Handguns Under $500," 4 May 2020 Foreman was crowned Miss Texas in a year in which, for the first time, the titles for all five top beauty contests have been won by black women. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Will Pearland’s Chandler Foreman win Miss America tonight?," 19 Dec. 2019 The crowning of Miss World 2019 has closed out this year’s historic pageant circuit, marking the first time the titles for all five top beauty contests were won by black women. Katie Mettler, Washington Post, "Miss World’s win means five black women now hold the top pageant titles — a historic first," 15 Dec. 2019 Here are nine other observations from Week 9 in college football: Ohio State is the only team that has shown no flaws Let’s face it, there’s a beauty contest component to this sport. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Week 9 observations: Writing off Oklahoma as College Football Playoff contender ridiculous," 31 Aug. 2019 America’s premier dog competition isn’t just a beauty contest: Supporting the elite canine athletes (and owners) is a growing pack of massage, acupuncture and sports medicine specialists. Hiroko Masuike, New York Times, "New Hampshire, Coronavirus, Chocolate: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing," 11 Feb. 2020 New research confirms that such online platforms are, in part, beauty contests. The Economist, "Airbnb users pay more to stay with attractive hosts," 30 Dec. 2019 These pageants have always struggled to reflect onstage the diverse array of women who make up the world’s population - women with hair, skin and bodies that do not conform to the ones that have traditionally dominated beauty contests., "The crowning of Miss World 2019 has closed out this year’s historic pageant circuit, marking the first time that the titles for all five top beauty contests were won by black women.," 16 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beauty contest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of beauty contest

1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about beauty contest

Time Traveler for beauty contest

Time Traveler

The first known use of beauty contest was in 1879

See more words from the same year

Statistics for beauty contest

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beauty contest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for beauty contest

beauty contest


English Language Learners Definition of beauty contest

: a contest in which people judge a group of women or girls and decide which one is the most beautiful

Comments on beauty contest

What made you want to look up beauty contest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!